by Bob Beranek
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What does Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) cover and what vehicles are exempt?

All auto glass replacements are covered under the standard. However, the “permissible exceptions” clause, as stated in section 7.2 of the standard under the heading, installation standards – rubber gasket, has caused confusion.

7.2 If the OEM gasket installation did not include adhesive and the vehicle is licensed for highway use and is less than 10,000 lbs. Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), the installation shall include polyurethane or an equivalent adhesive bonding system. The following are permissible exceptions: egress applications, antique/classic vehicle (as defined by the state in which it is licensed) restorations, or in cases in which this requirement conflicts with current vehicle manufacturer specifications,” a portion of the standard reads.

As the AGRSS committee chairman, I have asked a sub-committee to look into fine tuning our standard.

The first portion of section 7.2 is straightforward. If replacing a windshield in a gasketed vehicle under 10,000 lbs. without containing an adhesive, then the technician needs to add adhesive to strengthen the installation. However, the second sentence causes the most confusion.

If the vehicle has a gasket set window: that is used for escape, is a specialty licensed show vehicle, or is a specialty licensed antique vehicle, then that vehicle is exempt from following the AGRSS. The reason – because the vehicle is licensed for reduced mileage use under state laws governing “classic, antique, or collector” (CAC) license plates.

Now that some older vehicles fall into the CAC category with glued-in auto glass parts, do they have the same exempt status as the gasketed parts? That is the issue our standards committee must address as we review it.

The debate–does safety override good scores at the auto show, or do manufacturer specifications override current safety practices? At the time of the vehicle’s manufacture, that vehicle met the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). That vehicle is judged at the auto show on how original the vehicle is kept. It is why the states allow the vehicle to be transported or used on a limited basis through special licensing.

What happens when a vehicle’s model year would allow it to be considered a CAC vehicle, but it is used like any other vehicle licensed for the roadway? This is where the standard needs to be more clear. The CAC exemption must only be for vehicles licensed as such, and it needs to be applied to all vehicles, whether gasket set or glued-in glass mountings.

In other words, if a vehicle is licensed for the roadway without restrictions, then the AGRSS standard must be followed. If the vehicle has limited use as defined by the state in which is resides, and it is licensed as such, the standard can be adjusted to allow for the desires of the owner/operator.

There always seems to be some confusion about the AGRSS™ Standard regarding the use of salvaged glass, even though the Auto Glass Safety Council has issued an interpretation concerning that issue. So, I thought I would give you my interpretation of the interpretation.

There is a need to use salvaged glass in some instances. For example when doing removal and re-installation (R&R) of glass parts and when the glass part is not manufactured anymore, “salvaged” glass may be your only option.  These parts must be used and installed in a safe manner, however, or we are putting our customers in a dangerous situation.

The Auto Glass Safety Council website states, “The “ANSI/AGRSS Standard 002-2002 does not prohibit the installation of ‘recycled’ or ‘used’ stationary automotive glass in motor vehicles provided the following three conditions are met:”

The three conditions are:

1. The glass is in a condition that will permit a safe installation and must be free of obvious structural or objectionable flaws.

This is very clear. The glass once removed from the original vehicle must be free of flaws that would hinder its safety role. It cannot be:

—Sandblasted so visibility is hampered;

—Have distortion in the “acute” vision area;

— Be chipped, which would weaken the glass structurally;

—Scratched, which would also weaken the glass; and

—So damaged that the customer will not accept it.

If the part is encapsulated and the encapsulation is bonded to the vehicle, the encapsulation material must be solidly intact and not seriously deformed which would cause improper bonding.

2. The glass is installed with the retention system compatible with the OEM design

Here is where my interpretation might differ from others. As a business owner and one who pays a liability insurance premium every month, I interpret this to mean that the glass is installed with the OE adhesive. I cannot be sure what material was previously used nor can I know if the previous installation was completed properly. I do know that the original vehicle manufacturer did have to use materials and install the glass part to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Therefore, my policy for salvaged parts is to use only OE glass from an OE installed vehicle. Any aftermarket installed parts are not used unless I know I did the prior installation.

3. For adhesive-bonded glass, the adhesive manufacturer’s application instructions must permit its use in connection with the installation of recycled or used adhesive-bonded, stationary automotive glass.

Simply put, the adhesive you use must allow and give instructions for how to bond to salvaged glass parts bonded to the vehicle frame. If your adhesive company does not recommend the use of salvaged parts or they do not give you written instructions on how to bond to salvaged parts, then you cannot use salvaged parts with that adhesive product.

Now, here is the kicker. You must be able to answer “yes” to all three points before you can safely install the salvaged parts. If you can’t, then all the liability is borne by you and your company and any injuries caused by improper installation is on your shoulders. If someone urges you to install a salvaged part incorrectly, no disclaimer, clause or sign-off will protect you.